Industrial Reuse to Mixed-use

2015-2016 | Cork City
Returning from the U.S. in 2015 led to work on the sketch design for the conservation and change of use of a 9,600sqm Brewery building with a 2,300sqm extension. This work consisted of the design and project management at sketch design, and detailed design stages. The project required analysis of alternative uses within the scheme, improving on the previous designs, and preparing a new planning submission.

The Brewery Building is located on the original main street of the city within the first settlement of the marshes on which the city center is built. The Brewery Building is in the form of complex of buildings which have been added to, and altered through hundreds of years to form a true palimpsest which is informed by the industrial advancement, and the lane ways and buildings that were absorbed by the Brewery Site. 

The site’s brewing history extends back to the early 17th century, or possibly even earlier. In 1792 that William Beamish and William Crawford purchased the brewery from Edward Allen and went into partnership with brewers Richard Barrett and Digby O’Brien. Ireland’s biggest brewery until the 1830's, producing more stout than Guinness, this brewery exported as far afield as Australia, the United States and the Caribbean.
The Design Work consisted of unifying the ad-hoc complex of building to form a comprehensible circulation which satisfied the clients program, accessibility, and egress requirements. The existing fabric and knowledge of the historic development was used as a driver to inform the design and to limit the removal of existing fabric and maintain the character of the exiting structures. The renovated and extended building will form a multi-use building. The client required flexibility in the designs in order to allow for alternative occupancy scenarios.   

A new contemporary entrance is proposed to provide accessible access to all levels, and to allow for the large increase in the number of occupants. The new designs are intended to maintain the industrial language of the site whilst still being in contrast to the historic fabric. Changes in volume, scale, and levels, as well as platforms, catwalks, and none repetitive circulation routes are developed to both negotiate the complexity of the exiting building, and to speak of the industrial architecture that most of the cities occupants have only previously experienced from afar. Significant elements of the industrial heritage are conserved in place and form part of the new uses which occupy the historic brewing halls.